For many people, the most difficult part about trying to lose weight is to stick to one’s program. Very often, we set ourselves ambitious goals and in trying to abide by the strict diet and exercise plan that would help us achieve them, we often stumble out of laziness and exhaustion, which then leads to bouts of depression and low self-esteem. Given that motivation is the main factor in sustaining any weight control project, one needs to find an enjoyable way to get their exercise, and not having to slug it out against the metal monsters in the gym. Now, what better way than calorie intensive sports!
Sports have many advantages – they involve heavy physical effort, give virtually a full body workout including aerobic effort, and are great social activities and personality builders. With all these benefits, all you have to do is choose for yourself a sport that you like, is conveniently accessible in terms of facilities, company, cost etc., buy some good shoes, sportswear and you are all set with some Fabletics!
What sports are best, i.e. the best calorie burners? Here are the figures for a top five, averaged for an hour’s duration of play and a body weight of 70-75 kilograms. The number of calories one burns per hour varies from person to person, and depends on body weight (the heavier, the more the calories burnt).
For a start, you will see the name ‘squash’ in a whole new light after you have spent an hour on the court. Burning up a phenomenal 818 calories per hour, it is by far the most active sport. A game in which you are surrounded on all sides by playing surfaces, it involves a lot more activity than other court games in which one’s directional orientation is primarily forward. Squash involves fast reflexes, significant cross-court movement and body balance for quick direction changes.
Fast cycling, such as leisure racing (22-26 kmph), burns approximately 682 calories per hour. Riding a little slower would burn about 250. More fun than a stationery gym cycle, outdoor cycling lets you enjoy some fresh air while involving heavy aerobic exercise. Cycling is also develops lower-body strength.
An hour of basketball will help you burn up about 546 calories. A game of quick thinking, immaculate balance and strong lungs, basketball is a fast-paced sport. Soccer, an all-weather sport that is cheap and can allow a large number of people to play together. An hour on the field would burn up about 478 calories, give or take for the position you play in. Tennis, which involves perhaps a higher degree of ability and finesse, also helps burn as many calories.
Swimming, often cited as the best way to get exercise, involves a full-body exertion and works every major muscle group in the body. For those who feel at home in the water, this is the best way to burn calories. An hour of leisurely, non-competitive swimming in the pool would expend about 409 calories, and upto 420 if one swims in the river/ocean.
While these may be the most calorie-intensive sports, one must remember that it is good to play any sport, as it not only burns calories but develops overall fitness, alertness and reflexes. So quit the gym and head out for a breath of fresh air.